With the current less than ideal UK winter climate, Tenerife is the perfect escape
As we slog our way through the January blues, it’s hard to believe that these tantalising temperatures are a mere hop, skip and four-hour flight away.
But with fabulous winter offers to be had, you may want to make it your New Year’s resolution to treat yourself to some time in Tenerife.
The largest of the Canary Islands has long been a favourite destination for sun-seeking Brits and with good reason.
As well as the near-guaranteed good weather, the island caters to all types of visitors, from fly-and-floppers happy to stick to the pool or beach, to those looking for action and adventure.
My husband and I stayed at the Iberostar Anthelia on the coast of Costa Adeje, just a 20-minute taxi ride from Tenerife South Airport.
Tenerife boasts mediterranean temperatures just a stones-throw away
The island caters to all types of visitors
Offering three bars and five restaurants, both adults-only and children’s pools, and a luxurious spa, it’s not hard to see why this five-star hotel has won a plethora of awards, including TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award for best all-inclusive resort in Spain.
The best thing about opting for all-inclusive is that you can indulge as much as you like without worrying about the bill at the end – perfect if you’re looking to keep within a budget after splurging over the festive period.
You may want to postpone that New Year diet, though, especially when you see the desserts on offer at the main buffet.
Should you feel tempted to drag yourself away from the hotel’s sun loungers, Costa Adeje is a laid-back beach resort with a wide range of bars, restaurants and shops to rival the neighbouring and livelier tourist hotspot of Playa de las Americas.
It also offers the perfect base from which to explore Tenerife’s many attractions.
The Iberostar Anthelia provides you with everything you need for a holiday
After a few days of poolside relaxation, we travelled to nearby Puerto Colon to embark on a catamaran cruise to meet some of the Canary Island’s most popular residents.
The sea around Tenerife is home to various species of whale and dolphin, making it one of the best places in the Atlantic to spot marine life.
Sure enough, as we skimmed across the ocean waves, sipping our complimentary glass of sangria, it wasn’t long before we noticed black dorsal fins emerging from the water as a pod of pilot whales swam ahead.
These majestic creatures – which are the second largest species of dolphin – can swim in groups of more than a hundred and are a common sight in Canarian waters.
There are plenty of other natural wonders to explore, too. No visit to the island would be complete without a trip to its most famous landmark.
At an impressive 3,718 metres high, Mount Teide is the third highest volcano in the world and the highest point in the whole of Spain. With its dramatic, rocky terrain, it’s no wonder astronaut Neil Armstrong described Mount Teide National Park as the closest thing to the lunar landscape he had ever seen.
To best appreciate the stunning scenery, we took the cable car to the upper viewing station, which was a breathtaking experience in itself.
As we rose above the clouds to an altitude of 3,555 metres (experienced hikers can climb the rest of the way to the summit should they wish, but need to apply for a permit in advance), we were able to survey the geological wilderness in all its glory, as well as enjoy views towards the neighbouring islands of Gran Canaria, La Gomera and La Palma.
Even the lingering, sulphurous smell of rotten eggs emitted by the volcano added to the magic of this strange, alien vista.
Standing on what felt like the top of the world with the sun shining from above, I couldn’t help but think there are worse ways to spend a winter’s afternoon. So why not leave the cold and misery of a British January behind and discover what tempting Tenerife has to offer?
A catamaran cruise around Puerto Colon is a must for Tenerife travellers
Top 10 things to do in Tenerife
1 Visit during the annual Tenerife Carnival in Santa Cruz, which takes place this year from February 7-18.
2 Hike to the picturesque, so-called ‘hidden’ village of Masca.
3 Escape to the town of Garachico, on the north-west of the island. Here you can swim in natural swimming pools created by volcanic rock.
4 Make a splash at Siam Park, one of Europe’s biggest and most popular waterparks (siampark.net).
5 The crystal clear water around Tenerife is teeming with marine life, such as turtles, rays and an abundance of colourful fish, making it a popular scuba diving destination.
6 Take a ferry ride to the neighbouring, relatively untouched Canary Island of La Gomera.
7 The Museum of Nature and Man (museosdetenerife.org) in Santa Cruz contains historical artifacts from around the Canary Islands. It also houses a number of mummies.
8 Adrenaline junkies should head to El Médano beach, which is renowned for being one of the best beaches for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
9 Watch the world go by while sipping a barraquito, Tenerife’s famous boozy coffee.
10 Take a magical night-time excursion to see Mount Teide under the stars.
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